Harvest Braise

photo Fine Cooking

This recipe calls for pork. Chuck roast may be substituted. Six hearty servings.

3# boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed
salt and pepper
2 T oil
½ C dry red wine
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
2 C yellow onions, diced
5 fresh sage leaves, minced, or 1 t. dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T oil
3 T all-purpose flour
8 oz button mushrooms, halved if whole, or sliced
8 oz. Shitakes, stems removed, large pieces torn
3 T oil
1 can (14.5 oz.) Diced tomatoes
2 C pearl onions, blanched & peeled, or one bag frozen
salt & pepper to taste

Remove bone & excess fat from rib; cut meat into1-inch, finger-length pieces; you’ll have about 2½ pounds of meat. Season meat with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, heat 2 T oil until almost smoking; add meat in batches and sear until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove meat and reserve.  Reduce heat to medium and add wine; deglaze until wine is nearly evaporated,  about 5 minutes. Put meat back into pan and pour in beef broth halfway up the meat; you may not use all the beef broth. Cover pan with tight-fitting lid and simmer over very low heat, 30 minutes.

While meat simmers, in another pan saute onions, garlic and sage over medium heat in 1 T oil. Cook until onions become translucent, but do not permit them to brown, 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add flour, blend thoroughly.
Remove onion mixture and reserve. Heat reaming 2 T oil in pan and add mushrooms; saute until golden brown.

After braising pork 30 minutes, remove cover, stir in diced tomatoes & their juice and replace lid. Continue braising another 30 minutes. Add mushrooms, pearl onions and the onion-flour mixture. Stir to mix well, add salt and pepper and replace lid. Continue braising 30 minutes. Check meat for doneness – it should be very tender. Turn off heat and adjust seasonings.

Serve over noodles or boiled potatoes, with fresh Tomato Relish on the side.

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